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Attempted assassination of Trump: The long history of violence against U.S. presidents

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/thomas-klassen-1171638">Thomas Klassen</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/york-university-canada-1610">York University, Canada</a></em></p> <p>Political assassinations in the United States have a long and disturbing history.</p> <p>The <a href="https://apnews.com/article/trump-vp-vance-rubio-7c7ba6b99b5f38d2d840ed95b2fdc3e5">attempted assassination of Donald Trump</a>, who narrowly escaped death when a bullet grazed his right ear while he was speaking at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, highlights the danger of those seeking votes in a country whose constitution guarantees citizens the right to bear arms.</p> <p>Trump joins a not-so-exclusive club of U.S. presidents, former presidents and presidential candidates who have been the target of bullets. Of the 45 people who have served as president, four have been <a href="https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/us-presidents-assassinated-targeted-presidential-candidates-111920908">assassinated while in office</a>.</p> <p>Given the near mythic status of U.S. presidents, and the nation’s superpower role, political assassinations strike at the very heart of the American psyche.</p> <p><a href="https://www.loc.gov/collections/abraham-lincoln-papers/articles-and-essays/assassination-of-president-abraham-lincoln/">Abraham Lincoln</a>’s killing in 1865 and that of <a href="https://theconversation.com/jfk-assassination-60-years-on-seven-experts-on-what-to-watch-see-and-read-to-understand-the-event-and-its-consequences-216203">John F. Kennedy</a> in 1963 are key moments in the history of the United States. <a href="https://www.history.com/news/the-assassination-of-president-james-a-garfield">James Garfield</a> (1881) and <a href="https://www.history.com/news/the-assassination-of-president-william-mckinley">William McKinley</a> (1901) are less remembered, but their deaths nonetheless rocked the nation at the time.</p> <h2>Secret Service provides protection</h2> <p>It was after McKinley’s assassination that the U.S. Secret Service was given <a href="https://www.secretservice.gov/about/history/150-years#:%7E:text">the job of providing full-time protection to presidents</a>.</p> <p>The last American president to be shot was Ronald Reagan, <a href="https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/permanent-exhibits/assassination-attempt">who was seriously wounded and required emergency surgery in 1981</a>.</p> <p>Reagan was leaving a Washington hotel after giving a speech when gunman John Hinckley Jr. fired shots from a .22-calibre pistol. One of the bullets ricocheted off the president’s limousine and hit him under the left armpit. Reagan spent 12 days in hospital before returning to the White House.</p> <p>Other presidents have been shot at, but luckily, not injured.</p> <p>In 1933, <a href="http://www.fdrlibraryvirtualtour.org/page03-06.asp">a gunman fired five shots at the car of then President-Elect Franklin D. Roosevelt</a>. Roosevelt wasn’t hit but the mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak, who was speaking to Roosevelt after the newly elected president had made some brief remarks to the public, was injured and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7297642/">died 19 days later</a>.</p> <h2>Two attempts in one month</h2> <p>In September of 1975, President Gerald Ford survived <a href="https://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/avproj/assassinations.asp">two separate assassination attempts — both by women</a>. The first came on Sept. 5 when Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme, a follower of cult leader Charles Manson, tried to shoot Ford as he was walking through a park in Sacramento, Calif., but her gun misfired and didn’t go off. On Sept. 22, Sara Jane Moore, a woman with ties to left-wing radical groups, got one shot off at Ford as he left a hotel in San Francisco but it missed the president.</p> <p>Presidential candidates have not been exempt from assassination attempts, including most notably Senator <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/06/05/1179430014/robert-kennedy-rfk-assassination-anniversary">Robert F. Kennedy</a> killed in 1968 and <a href="https://www.wsfa.com/2024/07/14/son-late-alabama-gov-george-wallace-reacts-trump-rally-shooting/">George Wallace</a> shot and left paralyzed in 1972.</p> <p>In 1912, former president Theodore Roosevelt <a href="https://blogs.loc.gov/headlinesandheroes/2019/07/the-pocket-items-that-saved-the-life-of-theodore-roosevelt/">was hit in the chest by a .38-calibre bullet</a> as he was campaigning to regain the White House. But most of the impact of the bullet was absorbed by objects in the chest pocket of Roosevelt’s jacket. Even though he had been shot, Roosevelt went on to make a campaign speech with the bullet still in his chest.</p> <h2>The violence of 1968</h2> <p>Other figures with significant — if unelected — political power have also had their lives cut short by gunfire, most notably <a href="https://theconversation.com/mlks-vision-matters-today-for-the-43-million-americans-living-in-poverty-92380">Martin Luther King Jr.</a> in 1968, just a few months before Bobby Kennedy’s death.</p> <p>In a country with <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/19/there-are-more-guns-than-people-in-the-united-states-according-to-a-new-study-of-global-firearm-ownership/">more guns than people</a>, and with firearms easily available, it is not surprising that invariably shootings are the preferred means of killing or attempting to kill political office holders.</p> <p>Like Trump, most assassination attempts occur when candidates and politicians are in public spaces with crowds of people nearby. There is a long history of politicians insisting, against the advice of their security advisers, to “press the flesh” in events that jeopardize their safety. Trump was extraordinarily fortunate to escape with only minor injuries.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/234630/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/thomas-klassen-1171638">Thomas Klassen</a>, Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/york-university-canada-1610">York University, Canada</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Xinhua News Agency/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/attempted-assassination-of-trump-the-long-history-of-violence-against-u-s-presidents-234630">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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The world’s longest cruises

<p dir="ltr">If you’re looking for your next cruising adventure, there are a multitude of time frames you can pick from for your next holiday. </p> <p dir="ltr">While many cruise-goers tend to opt for just a week or two at sea, there are other voyages that can see you spend months travelling the world. </p> <p dir="ltr">Here are ten of the longest cruise journeys that are available for the most dedicated travellers. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Queen Anne - 107 days</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">In 2025, new Cunard ship Queen Anne will embark on her maiden World Voyage which includes her first visit to Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 107-day journey starts with a transatlantic crossing before sailing to destinations in the Americas, Australasia, Asia, the Arabian Gulf and finally the Mediterranean.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Crown Princess - 113 days </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The Crown Princess is set to embark on an epic around the world cruise next year, and you can get on in Australia or New Zealand.</p> <p dir="ltr">From there, the voyage will visit 49 destinations in 28 countries over 113 days, crossing the equator twice, and sailing 33,500 nautical miles.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>MSC Magnifica - 119 days</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">MSC's World Cruise 2026 lasts 119 days, with options to book the entire round-the-world itinerary for the most dedicated travellers. </p> <p dir="ltr">The trip starts in Italy, and takes in the Mediterranean before heading across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and South America, before it then sails to California before crossing the Pacific for Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Seabourn Sojourn - 129 days </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Seabourn's 2026 World Cruise sets sail on January 6th 2026 from LA, before taking in Hawaii, South Pacific islands, New Zealand, Australia and the Far East and Asia before heading Alaska and concluding in Vancouver, Canada.</p> <p dir="ltr">That's a total of 63 ports in 14 countries with seven overnight stays.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Volendam - 133 days</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Holland America’s lengthy journey, titled Pole to Pole, takes a round trip from Fort Lauderdale in Florida it visits spots as diverse as Costa Rica, Antarctica, Morocco, France and Canada.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Crystal Serenity - 135 days</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Crystal's 2026 World Cruise is an epic 135-day journey travelling to 72 destinations throughout 27 countries.</p> <p dir="ltr">Departing Los Angeles, Crystal Serenity will traverse the waters of the Pacific taking in the Marquesas Islands, Bora Bora, New Zealand and Sydney, as well as travelling to Hong Kong, Mumbai and Dubai.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Seven Seas Splendour - 140 days </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Guests onboard the Regent Seven Seas Cruises will visit 40 countries over six continents, spending 140 nights onboard the luxurious ship. </p> <p dir="ltr">The voyage visits locations such as Panama, Sri Lanka and Spain, visiting 71 ports around the world. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Silver Dawn - 149 days</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Silversea Cruises' Silver Dawn will explore 80 destinations, covering 35 countries on five continents, including 11 overnight stays. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Viking Sky - 163 days </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The cruise ship Viking Sky will sail for an impressive 163 days on its World Voyage II, taking in 34 countries, with 79 guided tours. </p> <p dir="ltr">Ports of note include Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, Darwin Australia, Colombo Sri Lanka, Cape Town, South Africa and the Shetland Islands in Scotland.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Oceana Vista - 197 days</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The 2026 World Odyssey voyage of Vista will circumnavigate the world, visiting over 100 ports across 43 countries.</p> <p dir="ltr">The voyage visits over 80 UNESCO World Heritage sites across 101 destinations, with 11 overnight stays.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Haunting last pictures of Charlise Mutten revealed

<p>The haunting last photos of nine-year-old Charlise Mutten have been released just hours after her step-father was found guilty of her murder. </p> <p>On Wednesday, Justin Stein was <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/jury-decides-fate-of-accused-murderer-justin-stein" target="_blank" rel="noopener">found guilty</a> for the murder of Charlise, who was killed in January 2022 while visiting her mother and step-father for Christmas. </p> <p>The jury reached their conclusion of Stein's guilt in just shy of two weeks following the four week trial, finding that Stein had killed Charlise at a Mount Wilson property owned by his parents before he wrapped her body and dumped it in a barrel down near the Colo River.</p> <p>Following the guilty verdict, a series of photos were released by the court, which document some of the final days of Charlise's life. </p> <p>In the photos, Charlise can be seen holding a pair of dolls and smiling for the camera as her mother, Kallista, snapped the image of her daughter. </p> <p>Kallista then sent the photo to her mother and Charlise's grandmother Deborah on Christmas morning 2021. </p> <p>“Thanks for the present and Merry Christmas from us all,” Kallista said to Deborah via Facebook.“Thanks for the present and Merry Christmas from us all,” Kallista said to Deborah via Facebook.</p> <p>Deborah and her husband Clinton were Charlise's main guardians, as Charlise had been living with them on the Gold Coast.</p> <p>Charlise can also be seen in a picture on January 8th, just days before she was killed, swimming in a pool, and on January 10th, she was photographed by her mother poking a face next to a broken window.</p> <p>The photo was sent to Stein by Kallista along with a message saying, “I’m sorry I’m such a screw up can we still get married”.</p> <p>Just two days later on January 12th, Charlise was killed. </p> <p>Stein will face a sentence hearing in August, where he faced life in prison for murder. </p> <p><em>Image credits: NSW Police / Facebook</em></p>

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Long-serving ABC star calls it quits

<p>Paul Barry, the veteran host of <em>Media Watch</em>, who has made a career out of poking the media bear, has announced his departure from the ABC show in December. After an illustrious (and occasionally infamous) tenure that would make a soap opera look like a nap, Barry is hanging up his microphone at the ripe age of 72.</p> <p>“I’ve been in the hot seat for 11 years and it’s time to give someone else a go,” Barry remarked, possibly while the hot seat sighed in relief. Indeed, hosting Media Watch is no small feat – it's a bit like riding a roller coaster while simultaneously refereeing a brawl. But Barry has certainly done it with aplomb, panache and a fair amount of flair.</p> <p>His announcement has left viewers with mixed feelings – a blend of gratitude for his unyielding service and a tinge of sadness, akin to the bittersweet end of a beloved TV series. Barry promised to stay with us until December, giving us ample time to stock up on popcorn and enjoy the remaining episodes. "Lots of fun to be had before then," he teased, hinting at some final rounds of media mischief.</p> <p>For those who might be wondering what Barry plans to do next, well, that's still a mystery. Perhaps he'll take up knitting, but knowing him, it’ll likely be with barbed wire.</p> <p>Barry first commandeered <em>Media Watch</em> in 2000 before returning in 2013, making a grand comeback that rivalled any reality TV show. Over the years, he has ruffled enough feathers to fill a sizeable pillow factory. Commercial media outlets, politicians and even his own network – as <em>Media Watch</em> famously runs independently of the ABC – have all been on the receiving end of his sharp critiques. His fearless approach has made him a hero to many and a headache to some.</p> <p>One of Barry’s most memorable moments came in 2013 during a spat with columnist Andrew Bolt. When Bolt provocatively asked Barry to reveal his salary on air, Barry did just that – $191,259, to be precise. It was a jaw-dropping moment that left viewers stunned and Bolt, presumably, a bit flummoxed.</p> <p>In between his stints at <em>Media Watch</em>, Barry has donned many hats – investigative reporter for the <em>Sydney Morning Herald</em>, correspondent for <em>60 Minutes</em>, and author of several books, including a controversial unauthorised biography of James Packer. His career has been a veritable smorgasbord of journalism, controversy and unflinching honesty.</p> <p>An ABC spokesperson paid tribute to Barry, highlighting his “track record of independent commentary, analysis, and robust discussion about the media industry and its ethics – or lack thereof.” Barry has indeed been the watchdog’s watchdog, never shying away from calling out malpractice, no matter where it reared its head.</p> <p>As the ABC gears up to announce a new host, the shoes left behind are large ones to fill. Barry’s departure marks the end of an era – one filled with wit, grit and an unwavering commitment to holding the media accountable.</p> <p>So, here’s to Paul Barry – the feather-ruffler, the truth-seeker, the man who made us laugh, gasp and, most importantly, think. As he steps down from <em>Media Watch</em>, we wish him the very best in his next adventure, whether that’s taking on new journalistic endeavours or finally perfecting that tricky scarf pattern.</p> <p>Bravo, Mr Barry. You will be missed.</p> <p><em>Image: Media Watch</em></p>

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"I'm a prisoner in my own body": Rob Burrow's heartbreaking last message

<p>An emotional final message from rugby legend Rob Burrow has been released in the days after his death. </p> <p>The former footballer <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/rugby-league-hero-dies-at-just-41" target="_blank" rel="noopener">died</a> at the age of 41 on Sunday after a lengthy battle with motor neurone disease, with his former club, the Leeds Rhinos, sharing the news of his passing. </p> <p>Before he died, Burrow was involved in the making of a documentary about his life by the BBC, titled <em>There's Only One Burrow</em>, only agreeing to appear in the program on the condition it only be used after his death.</p> <p>In the documentary, Burrow spoke of how the cruel disease impacted his life and how he hoped to raise awareness for MND research.</p> <p>"I want to live in a world free of MND. By the time you watch this I will no longer be here," he said in the video.</p> <p>"In a world full of adversity, we must still dare to dream. I'm just a lad from Yorkshire who got to live out his dream of playing rugby league."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C7xPgSxM6lY/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C7xPgSxM6lY/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by BBC SPORT (@bbcsport)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>His pre-recorded final words were shown to his friends and family on screen, reacting to his words.</p> <p>"I'm a fighter, to be honest. I might not be able to tackle MND but I'll certainly be swinging, I'm not going to give in, not until my last breath," he said.</p> <p>"I'm a prisoner in my own body, that's the way MND gets you. The lights are on but no one is home."</p> <p>Recalling his diagnosis, he said, "My family told me I was slurring my speech a bit but I didn't take notice or believe them."</p> <p>In an emotional segment of the widow, Burrow's wife Lindsey spoke of how she learnt of her husband's devastating disease.</p> <p>"I remember that moment being told it's not good news. Asking how long and them saying two years. Rob said 'thank god it's me and not the kids'. That's all he was bothered about," she recalled.</p> <p>When asked about his children, Burrow became emotional, saying, "I had no idea how my family would cope. They've become a beacon of hope for families in the same situation as ours." </p> <p>"I have had such a great life. I have been gifted with the most incredible wife and three children. I hope they know how much I love them."</p> <p>Burrows finishes the piece, saying. "As a father of three young children, I would never want someone to go through this."</p> <p>"I hope I have left a mark on this disease. I hope you choose to live in the moment. I hope you find inspiration."</p> <p>"My final message to you is whatever your personal battle to be brave and face it."</p> <p>"Every single day is precious. Don't waste a moment. In a world full of adversity we must still dare to dream. Rob Burrow over and out."</p> <p><em>Image credits: BBC</em></p>

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Would you be happy as a long-term single? The answer may depend on your attachment style

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christopher-pepping-1524533">Christopher Pepping</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/geoff-macdonald-1527971">Geoff Macdonald</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-toronto-1281">University of Toronto</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tim-cronin-415060">Tim Cronin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuthika-girme-1494822">Yuthika Girme</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/simon-fraser-university-1282">Simon Fraser University</a></em></p> <p>Are all single people insecure? When we think about people who have been single for a long time, we may assume it’s because single people have insecurities that make it difficult for them to find a partner or maintain a relationship.</p> <p>But is this true? Or can long-term single people also be secure and thriving?</p> <p>Our <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jopy.12929">latest research</a> published in the Journal of Personality suggests they can. However, perhaps unsurprisingly, not everybody tends to thrive in singlehood. Our study shows a crucial factor may be a person’s attachment style.</p> <h2>Singlehood is on the rise</h2> <p>Singlehood is on the rise around the world. In Canada, single status among young adults aged 25 to 29 has increased from <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220713/dq220713b-eng.htm">32% in 1981 to 61% in 2021</a>. The number of people <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220713/dq220713a-eng.htm">living solo</a> has increased from 1.7 million people in 1981 to 4.4 million in 2021.</p> <p>People are single for many reasons: <a href="https://www.ucpress.edu/ebook/9780520971004/happy-singlehood">some choose</a> to remain single, some are focusing on <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12147-020-09249-0">personal goals and aspirations</a>, some report <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/08/20/nearly-half-of-u-s-adults-say-dating-has-gotten-harder-for-most-people-in-the-last-10-years/">dating has become harder</a>, and some become single again due to a relationship breakdown.</p> <p>People may also remain single due to their attachment style. Attachment theory is a popular and well-researched model of how we form relationships with other people. An <a href="https://www.amazon.com.au/s?k=attachment+theory">Amazon search for attachment theory</a> returns thousands of titles. The hashtag #attachmenttheory has been viewed <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/20/why-attachment-theory-is-trending-according-to-dr-amir-levine.html">over 140 million times</a> on TikTok alone.</p> <h2>What does attachment theory say about relationships?</h2> <p>Attachment theory suggests our relationships with others are shaped by our degree of “anxiety” and “avoidance”.</p> <p>Attachment anxiety is a type of insecurity that leads people to feel anxious about relationships and worry about abandonment. Attachment avoidance leads people to feel uncomfortable with intimacy and closeness.</p> <p>People who are lower in attachment anxiety and avoidance are considered “securely attached”, and are comfortable depending on others, and giving and receiving intimacy.</p> <p>Single people are often stereotyped as being <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/01461672231203123">too clingy or non-committal</a>. Research comparing single and coupled people also suggests single people have <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2012.00793.x?casa_token=6iiCm5PjHgkAAAAA:0kBeofx3M-72YrkVppmNxdWBIAImFwm3lAakCnuiNXL20SVP1zaW7UeDIahW_43imAjSRXgtyN0hLVI">higher levels of attachment insecurities</a> compared to people in relationships.</p> <p>At the same time, evidence suggests many single people are choosing to remain single and <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/17456916221136119">living happy lives</a>.</p> <h2>Single people represent a diverse group of secure and insecure people</h2> <p>In our latest research, our team of social and clinical psychologists examined single people’s attachment styles and how they related to their happiness and wellbeing.</p> <p>We carried out two studies, one of 482 younger single people and the other of 400 older long-term singles. We found overall 78% were categorised as insecure, with the other 22% being secure.</p> <p>Looking at our results more closely, we found four distinct subgroups of singles:</p> <ul> <li> <p>secure singles are relatively comfortable with intimacy and closeness in relationships (22%)</p> </li> <li> <p>anxious singles question whether they are loved by others and worry about being rejected (37%)</p> </li> <li> <p>avoidant singles are uncomfortable getting close to others and prioritise their independence (23% of younger singles and 11% of older long-term singles)</p> </li> <li> <p>fearful singles have heightened anxiety about abandonment, but are simultaneously uncomfortable with intimacy and closeness (16% of younger singles and 28% of older long-term singles).</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Insecure singles find singlehood challenging, but secure singles are thriving</h2> <p>Our findings also revealed these distinct subgroups of singles have distinct experiences and outcomes.</p> <p>Secure singles are happy being single, have a greater number of non-romantic relationships, and better relationships with family and friends. They meet their sexual needs outside romantic relationships and feel happier with their life overall. Interestingly, this group maintains moderate interest in being in a romantic relationship in the future.</p> <p>Anxious singles tend to be the most worried about being single, have lower self-esteem, feel less supported by close others and have some of the lowest levels of life satisfaction across all sub-groups.</p> <p>Avoidant singles show the least interest in being in a romantic relationship and in many ways appear satisfied with singlehood. However, they also have fewer friends and close relationships, and are generally less satisfied with these relationships than secure singles. Avoidant singles also report less meaning in life and tend to be less happy compared to secure singles.</p> <p>Fearful singles reported more difficulties navigating close relationships than secure singles. For instance, they were less able to regulate their emotions, and were less satisfied with the quality of their close relationships relative to secure singles. They also reported some of the lowest levels of life satisfaction across all sub-groups.</p> <h2>It’s not all doom and gloom</h2> <p>These findings should be considered alongside several relevant points. First, although most singles in our samples were insecure (78%), a sizeable number were secure and thriving (22%).</p> <p>Further, simply being in a romantic relationship is not a panacea. Being in an unhappy relationship is linked to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316">poorer life outcomes</a> than being single.</p> <p>It is also important to remember that attachment orientations are not necessarily fixed. They are open to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352250X18300113">change</a> in response to life events.</p> <p>Similarly, <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0963721413510933">sensitive and responsive behaviours</a> from close others and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/02654075231162390">feeling loved and cared about</a> by close others can soothe underlying attachment concerns and foster attachment security over time.</p> <p>Our studies are some of the first to examine the diversity in attachment styles among single adults. Our findings highlight that many single people are secure and thriving, but also that more work can be done to help insecure single people feel more secure in order to foster happiness.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/227595/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christopher-pepping-1524533">Christopher Pepping</a>, Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/geoff-macdonald-1527971">Geoff Macdonald</a>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-toronto-1281">University of Toronto</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tim-cronin-415060">Tim Cronin</a>, Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuthika-girme-1494822">Yuthika Girme</a>, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/simon-fraser-university-1282">Simon Fraser University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/would-you-be-happy-as-a-long-term-single-the-answer-may-depend-on-your-attachment-style-227595">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Relationships

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"It loses its value": Calls for the Last Post to be canned from Anzac Day footy

<p>A radio host has called for the Last Post to be canned from the majority of Anzac Day football games, saying it has lost its meaning over the years, leaving people with "bugle fatigue". </p> <p>An Anzac Day AFL match has taken place every year at the MCG on Anzac Day since 1995, with Collingwood and Essendon going head to head year after year.</p> <p>It was the brainchild of then Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy who had also served in the Australian Army during his playing days for Richmond.</p> <p>The game started as a one off-match, which quickly snowballed into an entire round of games, while the NRL also joined in and created their own Anzac Day matches.</p> <p>Traditionally, each game starts with a ceremony of recognition of our veterans and a performance of the Last Post. before the game kicks off. </p> <p>The addition of the several extra games, all which begin with the Last Post, prompted radio host Greg 'Marto' Martin from Brisbane's <em>Triple M Breakfast with Marto, Margaux & Dan</em> to call for The Last Post to be scrapped from all matches, except the annual fixture between Essendon and Collingwood. </p> <p>"Football has now turned [The Last Post] into a gimmick," he said.</p> <p>"Back in 1995 when Kevin Sheedy, the coach of Essendon, he said, 'Let's have an Anzac Day clash at the MCG,' I reckon it's the most… spine tingling three minutes or so." </p> <p>"97,000 at the MCG… not one person yelling out while that's being played and, the honour that they give to all serving soldiers and returned soldiers is quite extraordinary."</p> <p>"But now what's happened, as football always does, and I'm not just talking AFL I'm talking rugby league as well, they've taken a wonderful thing and they've gone, 'Oh that's good —'"</p> <p>Margaux interrupted saying: "How can we capitalise!"</p> <p>Marto continued, "So what's going to happen this week in all eight games of the AFL and all eight games of the rugby league… every single one of them will play this [The Last Post] and you'll get ANZAC - you'll get bugle fatigue."</p> <p>"We have to stop it somewhere."</p> <p>Margaux said, "It gets saturated, so it loses its value. They all think they are doing the right thing, but all they are doing is turning it into a mockery."</p> <p>The AFL has confirmed that all nine matches across round seven will hold special Anzac observance ceremonies ahead of each game, with AFL General Manager Commercial Peta Webster saying, "Anzac Day is one of our country's most important national occasions so I'd encourage all fans attending matches throughout the round to arrive early to soak up the atmosphere and pre-match formalities that will no doubt be another moving tribute to the sacrifices of our past and present service men and women."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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"Last chance, Mr Banducci": Woolies CEO threatened with jail time

<p>Outgoing Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci has been threatened with jail time for refusing to answer questions about price gouging at a fiery Senate enquiry. </p> <p>The parliamentary probe into supermarket prices has seen Banducci be grilled by senators about how the supermarket raked in record-breaking profits during the ongoing cost of living crisis. </p> <p>During the enquiry on Tuesday, Banducci was repeatedly warned by committee chair and Greens senator Nick McKim about giving evasive answers when asked about his company's return on equity.</p> <p>Banducci repeatedly told the committee that return on equity was not his focus, and Woolworths is instead more interested in return on investment, refusing the question and prompting a 15-minute adjournment. </p> <p>When the enquiry resumed, a similar exchange occurred, leading to another warning for the Woolworths chief executive.</p> <p>"Last chance, Mr Banducci," McKim said.</p> <p>"Do you accept that return on equity is an accepted measure of the financial profitability of a company?"</p> <p>When Banducci replied that "we measure return on investment", the committee was suspended.</p> <p>Its return immediately saw another round of the same questions and answers, with McKim warning Banducci about the consequences of not answering questions clearly.</p> <p>"It is open to the Senate to hold you in contempt, and that carries potential sanctions including up to six months imprisonment for you," he said after saying the Woolworths boss could simply say he didn't know the answer and take the question on notice.</p> <p>"That's why this is a critical matter so I'd just ask you to address your mind with absolute clarity, please, to the question I am asking."</p> <p>"I put it to you the reason you don't want to focus on return on equity is because you don't like the story that it's telling, which is that you are basically profiteering and making off with massive profits at the expense of farmers at the expense of your workers and at the expense of Australian shoppers who you are price gouging," Greens senator McKim said.</p> <p>The enquiry is still ongoing, with Coles counterpart Leah Weckert set to address the same Senate committee later on Tuesday as the government continues to probe allegations of price gouging.</p> <p><em>Image Credits: ABC - Four Corners</em></p>

Legal

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Peter Brock's long-time partner passes away aged 77

<p>The motorsport community is mourning the loss of Bev Brock, a formidable figure whose unwavering support and dedication were instrumental in the legendary career of her former long-time partner, Peter Brock.</p> <p>Bev, aged 77, passed away at her Melbourne home on Sunday morning after bravely battling stage 4 cancer for two years.</p> <p>For almost three decades, Bev stood as a steadfast presence by Peter's side, both on and off the racetrack. While they were never married, their bond was undeniable, marking a partnership that transcended mere labels. From 1977 until their separation in 2005, Bev played an integral role in shaping Peter's remarkable motorsport journey, becoming synonymous with his successes and enduring legacy.</p> <p>Born on January 15, 1947, just outside Perth, Bev's early years hinted at the strength of character and resilience that would define her life. Among seven siblings, she cultivated a spirit of determination and compassion that would later leave an indelible mark on those around her. Following her passion for education, Bev pursued a career in teaching, imparting knowledge in science and home economics to countless students.</p> <p>Bev's life took a new trajectory when she met Peter Brock. Together, they navigated the highs and lows of motorsport, sharing a journey that was as exhilarating as it was demanding. Despite the challenges, Bev remained a pillar of support, balancing multiple roles with grace, intelligence and purpose. Her commitment to Peter's racing career was unwavering, whether she was managing logistics, offering counsel, or simply cheering from the sidelines.</p> <p>Beyond her contributions to motorsport, Bev's philanthropic endeavours reflected her generous spirit and compassionate nature – and her involvement with various charities culminated in the prestigious Order of Australia in 2016. From supporting The Skyline Foundation to her active engagement with Melbourne Rotary, Bev's impact extended far beyond the confines of the racetrack.</p> <p>In a heartfelt tribute, Bev's son, James Brock, honoured his mother's legacy:</p> <p>“Bev was a dedicated parent, always making time to make a costume for a play or help out on a school camp,” he wrote. “She dedicated her life to helping Peter’s racing career taking on multiple roles, all met with skill, smarts and purpose.</p> <p>“Bev was also involved with multiple charities earning her an Order of Australia in 2016.</p> <p>“Over the last few years she focused her time and passion on The Skyline Foundation, Melbourne Rotary, public speaking and her ever expanding family.</p> <p>“She leaves behind her three children, seven cherished grandchildren and a host of loved ones she wrapped into her life as though they were her own.</p> <p>“Her loss will be immense as her presence, wisdom and support can never be matched.”</p> <p>Universally known as "Bevo," she was not only the driving force behind Peter's success but also a cherished friend who selflessly cared for others. Despite her own battle with cancer, Bev remained a source of strength and inspiration, offering support and guidance to countless friends and acquaintances.</p> <p>As the motorsport community comes together to mourn Bev's passing, we reflect on a life lived with purpose, passion and unwavering dedication.</p> <p>Bev Brock may have left this world, but her spirit will forever race on in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Caring

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William Shatner shocks hosts simply by revealing his age

<p>In a world where time ticks mercilessly onward, one man has defied the very essence of ageing: the legendary William Shatner, the man who boldly went where no nonagenarian has gone before.</p> <p>As Shatner prepares to celebrate his 93rd trip around the sun, fans worldwide are scratching their heads in disbelief. The reason? Well, it seems that Captain Kirk himself has stumbled upon the fountain of youth and decided to keep it all to himself. </p> <p>The commotion started when Shatner made a <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@todayshow/video/7347749279865490734?_r=1&_t=8koli3bKC49" target="_blank" rel="noopener">guest appearance</a> on the <em>US Today Show</em>, looking fresher than a daisy in springtime. Fans took to social media to express their shock, with one incredulous viewer commenting, "Damn, he's still sharp and has his hair. I would never have guessed 93." And another chimed in with, "I would've guessed 67 or 68."</p> <p>Forget "live long and prosper"; it seems the new motto is "live long and confound the heck out of everyone".</p> <p>Even the hosts of the<em> Today Show</em> were left flabbergasted by Shatner's youthful glow. They couldn't resist asking the man himself for his secret to longevity. And what pearls of wisdom did he impart? "Don't tell anybody [your age]." Ah, sage advice indeed. It seems the real secret to ageing gracefully is to maintain an air of mystery.</p> <p>But let's rewind to 2021 when Shatner was grilled by a journalist about whether he'd had any "serious work" done. His response? A witty comeback, of course. "No, have you?" Touché, Shatner, touché. And when pressed further, he simply attributed his youthful appearance to good genes, lots of horseback riding and a healthy dose of bewilderment about the world. </p> <p>Despite his apparent disdain for the number 90 ("It's disgusting," he once declared in an interview), Shatner finds himself hurtling towards the ripe old age of 93 with all the grace and poise of a starship navigating through a meteor shower. And if his recent TV appearance is anything to go by, he's showing no signs of slowing down.</p> <p>So let's all take a leaf out of Shatner's playbook, shall we? If anyone asks for the secret to your eternal youth, just give them that trademark Shatner smirk and say: "It's classified."</p> <p><em>Images: NBC | Wikimedia | Tik Tok</em></p>

Body

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Longing for the ‘golden age’ of air travel? Be careful what you wish for

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janet-bednarek-144872">Janet Bednarek</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-dayton-1726">University of Dayton</a></em></p> <p>Long lines at security checkpoints, tiny plastic cups of soda, small bags of pretzels, planes filled to capacity, fees attached to every amenity – all reflect the realities of 21st century commercial air travel. It’s no wonder that many travelers have become nostalgic for the so-called “golden age” of air travel in the United States.</p> <p>During the 1950s, airlines promoted commercial air travel as glamorous: stewardesses served full meals on real china, airline seats were large (and frequently empty) with ample leg-room, and passengers always dressed well.</p> <p>After jets were introduced in the late 1950s, passengers could travel to even the most distant locations at speeds unimaginable a mere decade before. An airline trip from New York to London that could take up to 15 hours in the early 1950s could be made in less than seven hours by the early 1960s.</p> <p>But airline nostalgia can be tricky, and “golden ages” are seldom as idyllic as they seem.</p> <p>Until the introduction of jets in 1958, most of the nation’s commercial planes were propeller-driven aircraft, like the DC-4. Most of these planes were unpressurized, and with a maximum cruising altitude of 10,000 to 12,000 feet, they were unable to fly over bad weather. Delays were frequent, turbulence common, and air sickness bags often needed.</p> <p>Some planes were spacious and pressurized: the <a href="http://everythingnice.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/PanAm-cutawayS.jpg">Boeing Stratocruiser</a>, for example, could seat 50 first class passengers or 81 coach passengers compared to the DC-3’s 21 passengers. It could cruise at 32,000 feet, which allowed Stratocruiser to fly above most bad weather it encountered. But only 56 of these planes were ever in service.</p> <p>While the later DC-6 and DC-7 were pressurized, they still flew much lower than the soon-to-appear jets – 20,000 feet compared to 30,000 feet – and often encountered turbulence. The piston engines were bulky, complex and difficult to maintain, which contributed to frequent delays.</p> <p>For much of this period, the old saying “Time to spare, go by air” still rang true.</p> <p>Through the 1930s and into the 1940s, almost everyone flew first class. Airlines did encourage more people to fly in the 1950s and 1960s by introducing coach or tourist fares, but the savings were relative: less expensive than first class, but still pricey. In 1955, for example, so-called “bargain fares” from New York to Paris were the equivalent of just over $2,600 in 2014 dollars. Although the advent of jets did result in lower fares, the cost was still out of reach of most Americans. The most likely frequent flier was a white, male businessman traveling on his company’s expense account, and in the 1960s, airlines – with young attractive stewardesses in short skirts – clearly catered to their most frequent flyers.</p> <p>The demographics of travelers did begin to shift during this period. More women, more young people, and retirees began to fly; still, airline travel remained financially out-of-reach for most.</p> <p>If it was a golden age, it only was for the very few.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bKqQgNZylLw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Jet planes were introduced in the late 1950s, resulting in shorter flight times. But their ticket prices out of reach for the average traveler.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>People also forget that well into the 1960s, air travel was far more dangerous than it is today. In the 1950s and 1960s US airlines experienced at least a half dozen crashes per year – most leading to fatalities of all on board. People today may bemoan the crowded airplanes and lack of on-board amenities, but the number of fatalities per million miles flown has dropped dramatically since since the late 1970s, especially compared to the 1960s. Through at least the 1970s, airports even prominently featured kiosks selling flight insurance.</p> <p>And we can’t forget hijackings. By the mid-1960s so many airplanes had been hijacked that <a href="http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/hijackers/flying-high.htm">“Take me to Cuba”</a> became a punch line for stand-up comics. In 1971 <a href="http://nymag.com/news/features/39593/index2.html">D.B. Cooper</a> – a hijacker who parachuted from a Boeing 727 after extorting $200,000 – might have been able to achieve folk hero status. But one reason US airline passengers today (generally) tolerate security checkpoints is that they want some kind of assurance that their aircraft will remain safe.</p> <p>And if the previous examples don’t dull the sheen of air travel’s “golden age,” remember: in-flight smoking was both permitted and encouraged.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/34177/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janet-bednarek-144872"><em>Janet Bednarek</em></a><em>, Professor of History, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-dayton-1726">University of Dayton</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/longing-for-the-golden-age-of-air-travel-be-careful-what-you-wish-for-34177">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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How long does menopause last? 5 tips for navigating uncertain times

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yvonne-middlewick-1395795">Yvonne Middlewick</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em></p> <p>Around half of the world’s population are women or people who menstruate – yet the way their body works can be a mystery, even to them.</p> <p>Most women will experience periods roughly every month, many will go through childbirth and those who live into midlife will experience menopause.</p> <p>While menopause is a significant time of change, it isn’t talked about much, other than as a punchline. This may contribute to keeping it a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/membership/2019/sep/21/breaking-the-menopause-taboo-there-are-vital-stories-we-should-continue-to-pursue">taboo topic</a>.</p> <p>So, what happens during menopause? How do you know when it is happening to you? And – the thing most women want to know – how long will it last?</p> <h2>What is menopause?</h2> <p>Menopause is <a href="https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-menopause">defined</a> as the permanent cessation of menstruation, which is medically determined to be one year after the final menstrual period. After this time women are considered to be postmenopausal.</p> <p>The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26598775/">average age</a> of “natural menopause” (that is not caused by a medical condition, treatment or surgery) is considered to be around 51 years.</p> <p>However, natural menopause does not occur suddenly. <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Riitta-Luoto/publication/46425690_Prevalence_of_menopause_symptoms_and_their_association_with_lifestyle_among_Finnish_middle-aged_women/links/5c5704ac458515a4c7553c7b/Prevalence-of-menopause-symptoms-and-their-association-with-lifestyle-among-Finnish-middle-aged-women.pdf">Changes can begin</a> a number of years before periods stop and most often occur in a woman’s 40s but they can be earlier. Changes <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25686030/">can continue</a> for 10 years or more after periods have stopped.</p> <p>Using hormones such as the oral contraceptive pill or hormone intrauterine devices may make it more <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31934948/">difficult to determine</a> when changes start.</p> <p>Menopause that occurs <a href="https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/early-or-premature-menopause#:%7E:text=Menopause%20that%20happens%20before%20age,to%20come%20earlier%20than%20usual.">before 45</a> is called “early menopause”, while menopause before 40 is called “premature menopause”.</p> <h2>What about perimenopause?</h2> <p>Various <a href="https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/glossary-of-terms">terms</a> are used to describe this period of change, including “menopause” or “the menopause”, “menopausal transition”, “perimenopause” or “<a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12188398/">climacteric</a>”.</p> <p>These terms tend to refer to the period before and after the final menstrual period, when changes are considered to be related to menopause.</p> <p>The difficulty with the definition of menopause is it can only be decided retrospectively. Yet women can experience changes many years before their periods stop (a lead up usually called “perimenopause”). Also, any <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/sdfe/pdf/download/eid/1-s2.0-S0889854518300627/first-page-pdf">changes noticed</a> may not be associated with menopause (because people might not be aware of what to expect) or changes may be associated with a combination of factors such as stress, being busy or other health issues.</p> <h2>So, what is going on?</h2> <p>Through a feminist lens, menopause can be seen as a <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/354652248_The_volcano_within_a_study_of_women's_lived_experience_of_the_journey_through_natural_menopause">complex and diverse experience</a>, influenced by biological, psychological, social and cultural aspects of women’s lives.</p> <p>However, it is usually viewed from the biomedical perspective. This sees it as a biological event, marked by the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091302220300418">decline</a> in ovarian hormone levels leading to a reduction in reproductive function.</p> <p>The female reproductive system operates because of a finely tuned balance of hormones managed by the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6466056/#:%7E:text=The%20hypothalamic%2Dpituitary%2Dovarian%20(HPO)%20axis%20must%20be,priming%20the%20endometrium%20for%20implantation.">hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis</a>. International <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3340903/">experts</a> have developed a staging system for female reproductive ageing, with seven stages from “early reproductive” years to “late postmenopause”.</p> <p>However, female reproductive hormones do not just affect the reproductive system but <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091302220300418">other aspects</a> of the body’s function. These include the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26007613/">neurological system</a>, which is linked to hot flushes and night sweats and disrupted sleep. Hormones may also affect the <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nrdp20154">heart and body’s blood circulation</a>, bone health and potentially the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091302220300418">immune system</a>.</p> <p>Menopausal hormone changes may <a href="https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/menopause-information/menopause-symptoms/">cause</a> hot flushes, night/cold sweats, mood swings, sleep disruption and tiredness, vaginal dryness.</p> <p>Medical confirmation of menopausal changes in women over 45 years is based on two biological indicators: vasomotor symptoms (those hot flushes and night sweats again) and an <a href="https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/early-or-premature-menopause#:%7E:text=Menopause%20that%20happens%20before%20age,to%20come%20earlier%20than%20usual.">irregular menstrual cycle</a>.</p> <p>In early perimenopause the changes to the menstrual cycle may be subtle. Women may not recognise early indicators, unless they keep a record and know what to watch for.</p> <h2>How long does it last?</h2> <p>The body demonstrates an amazing ability to change over a lifetime. In a similar way to adolescence where long-lasting changes occur, the outcome of menopause is also change.</p> <p>Research suggests it is difficult to give an exact time frame for how long menopausal changes occur – the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085137/">average</a> is between four and eight years.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085137/">Penn Ovarian Ageing Study</a> found 79% of the 259 participants experienced hot flushes starting before the age of 50, most commonly between 45 and 49 years of age.</p> <p>A later report on the same study found one third of women studied experienced <a href="https://womensmidlifehealthjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40695-016-0014-2">moderate to severe hot flushes</a> more than ten years after their periods had stopped. A <a href="https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/2017/03000/Cultural_issues_in_menopause__an_exploratory.11.aspx">2017 study</a> found a small number of women continued to experience hot flushes and other symptoms into their 70s.</p> <p>So overall, the research cannot offer a specific window for perimenopause, and menopause does not appear to mark the end of changes for everyone.</p> <h2>5 tips for uncertain times</h2> <p>Shifts and changes can be recognised early by developing knowledge, paying attention to changes to our bodies and talking about menopause and perimenopause more openly.</p> <p>Here are five tips for moving from uncertainty to certainty:</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> talk to people and find out as much information as you can. The experiences of mothers and sisters may help, for some women there are familial similarities</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> notice any changes to your body and make a note of them, this will help you recognise changes earlier. There are <a href="https://www.redonline.co.uk/wellbeing/a36980118/menopause-apps/">menopause tracking apps</a> available</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> keep a note of your menstrual cycle: start date, duration, flow and note any changes. Again, an app might help</p> <p><strong>4.</strong> if you are worried, seek advice from a GP or nurse that specialises in women’s health. They may suggest ways to help with symptoms or refer to a specialist</p> <p><strong>5.</strong> remember changes are the indicator to pay attention to, not time or your age.</p> <p>Menopause is a natural process and although we have focused here on the time frame and “symptoms”, it can also be a time of freedom (particularly from periods!), reflection and a time to focus on yourself.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/195211/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lhosPUwWhfI?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Women speak about their experiences of menopause.</span></figcaption></figure> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yvonne-middlewick-1395795">Yvonne Middlewick</a>, Nurse &amp; Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-long-does-menopause-last-5-tips-for-navigating-uncertain-times-195211">original article</a>.</em></p>

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An emotional Scott Morrison delivers his last speech to parliament

<p>In a poignant and somewhat unexpected farewell, former Prime Minister Scott Morrison bid adieu to federal parliament, leaving behind a legacy tinged with tears – and a surprising tribute to pop sensation Taylor Swift.</p> <p>As he marked his exit, Morrison delivered a heartfelt address, reflecting on his political journey, acknowledging his colleagues, and offering insights into his future endeavours.</p> <p>Flashing a Swiftie friendship bracelet emblazoned with the nickname "ScoMo" beneath the sleeve of his suit, Morrison's speech was a blend of personal anecdotes, political reflections and nods to popular culture. Surrounded by his family – his mother Marion, wife Jenny, and daughters Abby and Lily – Morrison addressed a gallery that, while not at full capacity, held a significant emotional weight for the departing leader.</p> <p>With a touch of humour, Morrison recounted his daughters' suggestion of incorporating references to Taylor Swift albums into his remarks, a challenge he gamely accepted. Seamlessly weaving Swift's song titles into his speech, Morrison painted a picture of his political journey, acknowledging the challenges he faced and the steadfast support of his loved ones, particularly his wife Jenny, whom he affectionately referred to as his "Lover":</p> <p><em>"It is true that my political opponents have often made me see <strong>Red</strong>.</em></p> <p><em>Often when subjected to the <strong>Tortured Poets</strong> who would rise to attack my Reputation. </em></p> <p><em>In response, I always thought it important to be <strong>Fearless</strong> and <strong>Speak Now</strong>. </em></p> <p><em>Or forever hold my silence and allow those attacks to become <strong>Folklore</strong>. </em></p> <p><em>Ever since leaving university in <strong>1989</strong> this has always been my approach.</em></p> <p><em>My great consolation has always been my <strong>Lover</strong>, Jen, who has always been there for me whenever I needed her from dawn, and beyond the many <strong>Midnights</strong> we have shared together.</em></p> <p><em>See? I'm actually a <strong>True Romantic</strong> after all.</em></p> <p><em>I can assure there is no <strong>Bad Blood</strong>, as I've always been someone who has been able to … <strong>Shake It Off</strong>."</em></p> <p>Reflecting on his tenure as Australia's 30th prime minister from 2018 to 2020, Morrison expressed gratitude to the Indigenous community and the defence personnel, emphasising their contributions to the nation's freedom and prosperity. He cautioned against what he termed a "drift of secularism" and advocated for a reconnection with traditional Christian values, underlining the importance of faith in his own life.</p> <p>Amid tears, Morrison thanked his staff, household personnel and security detail, acknowledging their dedication and sacrifice – particularly recalling two individuals injured while protecting him. “I want to specially mention Travis Ford and Jen McCrae," he said, "who were <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/dangerous-traffic-crash-rocks-scott-morrison" target="_blank" rel="noopener">terribly injured in the line of duty</a> protecting me … in a terrible car accident in Tasmania. I will always be grateful for your sacrifice.”</p> <p>Emotionally addressing his family, Morrison expressed profound gratitude to his wife and daughters, recognising the challenges they endured due to his public role.</p> <p>In a magnanimous gesture, Morrison extended well wishes to his political opponents and congratulated Prime Minister Albanese on his recent engagement. He also expressed appreciation for his party colleagues, including former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton, highlighting their support and camaraderie.</p> <p>Touching upon his role in the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal and Australia's stance against Chinese coercion, Morrison underscored the importance of standing firm in the face of geopolitical challenges. He warned against complacency and urged vigilance in safeguarding national interests against external threats.</p> <p>Closing on a deeply personal note, Morrison reaffirmed his faith in Jesus Christ, acknowledging his own imperfections and the power of forgiveness. Quoting scripture, he embraced his Christian beliefs unapologetically, emphasising the strength derived from his faith.</p> <p>The solemnity of the moment was then relieved somewhat when Morrison ended his speech with the words "And, as always, up, up, Cronulla!", as colleagues from across the political spectrum approached to bid him farewell.</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Morrison made a point of highlighting the main lessons he says he's learned during his political career, which we have summarised here:</span></p> <p><strong>1. Without a strong economy, you cannot achieve your goals as a nation</strong></p> <p>He said there have been strong contributions made in this respect by both sides of politics, and Australia must be careful not to "reinstitutionalise our economy" and crush entrepreneurial spirit.</p> <p><strong>2. Threats are out there, and they are real</strong></p> <p>Morrison talked about a new era of strategic competition, in which the old rules-based international order is being challenged by "a new arc of autocracy" ranging from Pyongyang to Beijing to Tehran and Moscow.</p> <p>He cited AUKUS, the Quad and new trading and defence relationships as key achievements of his government in this arena, but said that "continued vigilance and the connection between all spheres of police" is required going forward.</p> <p><strong>3. Judeo-Christian values shouldn't be forgotten in the 'increasing Western embrace of secularism'</strong></p> <p>"Individual liberty, the rule of law, equality of opportunity, responsible citizenship, morality, liberty of speech, thought, religion and association. All of these stem from the core principle of respect for individual human dignity," Morrison said. "So does representative democracy. And even market-based capitalism. This is a unique Judeo-Christian principle."</p> <p><em>Image: ABC News</em></p> <p> </p>

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How long does back pain last? And how can learning about pain increase the chance of recovery?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sarah-wallwork-1361569">Sarah Wallwork</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lorimer-moseley-1552">Lorimer Moseley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em></p> <p>Back pain is common. One in thirteen people have it right now and worldwide a staggering 619 million people will <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7186678/">have it this year</a>.</p> <p>Chronic pain, of which back pain is the most common, is the world’s <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7186678/">most disabling</a> health problem. Its economic impact <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92510/">dwarfs other health conditions</a>.</p> <p>If you get back pain, how long will it take to go away? We scoured the scientific literature to <a href="https://www.cmaj.ca/content/cmaj/196/2/E29.full.pdf">find out</a>. We found data on almost 20,000 people, from 95 different studies and split them into three groups:</p> <ul> <li>acute – those with back pain that started less than six weeks ago</li> <li>subacute – where it started between six and 12 weeks ago</li> <li>chronic – where it started between three months and one year ago.</li> </ul> <p>We found 70%–95% of people with acute back pain were likely to recover within six months. This dropped to 40%–70% for subacute back pain and to 12%–16% for chronic back pain.</p> <p>Clinical guidelines point to graded return to activity and pain education under the guidance of a health professional as the best ways to promote recovery. Yet these effective interventions are underfunded and hard to access.</p> <h2>More pain doesn’t mean a more serious injury</h2> <p>Most acute back pain episodes are <a href="https://www.racgp.org.au/getattachment/75af0cfd-6182-4328-ad23-04ad8618920f/attachment.aspx">not caused</a> by serious injury or disease.</p> <p>There are rare exceptions, which is why it’s wise to see your doctor or physio, who can check for signs and symptoms that warrant further investigation. But unless you have been in a significant accident or sustained a large blow, you are unlikely to have caused much damage to your spine.</p> <p>Even very minor back injuries can be brutally painful. This is, in part, because of how we are made. If you think of your spinal cord as a very precious asset (which it is), worthy of great protection (which it is), a bit like the crown jewels, then what would be the best way to keep it safe? Lots of protection and a highly sensitive alarm system.</p> <p>The spinal cord is protected by strong bones, thick ligaments, powerful muscles and a highly effective alarm system (your nervous system). This alarm system can trigger pain that is so unpleasant that you cannot possibly think of, let alone do, anything other than seek care or avoid movement.</p> <p>The messy truth is that when pain persists, the pain system becomes more sensitive, so a widening array of things contribute to pain. This pain system hypersensitivity is a result of neuroplasticity – your nervous system is becoming better at making pain.</p> <h2>Reduce your chance of lasting pain</h2> <p>Whether or not your pain resolves is not determined by the extent of injury to your back. We don’t know all the factors involved, but we do know there are things that you can do to reduce chronic back pain:</p> <ul> <li> <p>understand how pain really works. This will involve intentionally learning about modern pain science and care. It will be difficult but rewarding. It will help you work out what you can do to change your pain</p> </li> <li> <p>reduce your pain system sensitivity. With guidance, patience and persistence, you can learn how to gradually retrain your pain system back towards normal.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>How to reduce your pain sensitivity and learn about pain</h2> <p>Learning about “how pain works” provides the most sustainable <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj-2021-067718">improvements in chronic back pain</a>. Programs that combine pain education with graded brain and body exercises (gradual increases in movement) can reduce pain system sensitivity and help you return to the life you want.</p> <p>These programs have been in development for years, but high-quality clinical trials <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2794765">are now emerging</a> and it’s good news: they show most people with chronic back pain improve and many completely recover.</p> <p>But most clinicians aren’t equipped to deliver these effective programs – <a href="https://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(23)00618-1/fulltext">good pain education</a> is not taught in most medical and health training degrees. Many patients still receive ineffective and often risky and expensive treatments, or keep seeking temporary pain relief, hoping for a cure.</p> <p>When health professionals don’t have adequate pain education training, they can deliver bad pain education, which leaves patients feeling like they’ve just <a href="https://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(23)00618-1/fulltext">been told it’s all in their head</a>.</p> <p>Community-driven not-for-profit organisations such as <a href="https://www.painrevolution.org/">Pain Revolution</a> are training health professionals to be good pain educators and raising awareness among the general public about the modern science of pain and the best treatments. Pain Revolution has partnered with dozens of health services and community agencies to train more than <a href="https://www.painrevolution.org/find-a-lpe">80 local pain educators</a> and supported them to bring greater understanding and improved care to their colleagues and community.</p> <p>But a broader system-wide approach, with government, industry and philanthropic support, is needed to expand these programs and fund good pain education. To solve the massive problem of chronic back pain, effective interventions need to be part of standard care, not as a last resort after years of increasing pain, suffering and disability.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/222513/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sarah-wallwork-1361569">Sarah Wallwork</a>, Post-doctoral Researcher, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lorimer-moseley-1552">Lorimer Moseley</a>, Professor of Clinical Neurosciences and Foundation Chair in Physiotherapy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-long-does-back-pain-last-and-how-can-learning-about-pain-increase-the-chance-of-recovery-222513">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Running or yoga can help beat depression, research shows – even if exercise is the last thing you feel like

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-noetel-147460">Michael Noetel</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p>At least <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychiatry/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.665019/full">one in ten people</a> have depression at some point in their lives, with some estimates <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749379720301793">closer to one in four</a>. It’s one of the worst things for someone’s wellbeing – worse than <a href="https://www.happinessresearchinstitute.com/_files/ugd/928487_4a99b6e23f014f85b38495b7ab1ac24b.pdf">debt, divorce or diabetes</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/why-are-so-many-australians-taking-antidepressants-221857">One in seven</a> Australians take antidepressants. Psychologists are in <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-cant-solve-australias-mental-health-emergency-if-we-dont-train-enough-psychologists-here-are-5-fixes-190135">high demand</a>. Still, only <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003901">half</a> of people with depression in high-income countries get treatment.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/384/bmj-2023-075847">new research</a> shows that exercise should be considered alongside therapy and antidepressants. It can be just as impactful in treating depression as therapy, but it matters what type of exercise you do and how you do it.</p> <h2>Walk, run, lift, or dance away depression</h2> <p>We found 218 randomised trials on exercise for depression, with 14,170 participants. We analysed them using a method called a network meta-analysis. This allowed us to see how different types of exercise compared, instead of lumping all types together.</p> <p>We found walking, running, strength training, yoga and mixed aerobic exercise were about as effective as <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-cognitive-behaviour-therapy-37351">cognitive behaviour therapy</a> – one of the <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychiatry/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00004/full">gold-standard treatments</a> for depression. The effects of dancing were also powerful. However, this came from analysing just five studies, mostly involving young women. Other exercise types had more evidence to back them.</p> <p>Walking, running, strength training, yoga and mixed aerobic exercise seemed more effective than antidepressant medication alone, and were about as effective as exercise alongside antidepressants.</p> <p>But of these exercises, people were most likely to stick with strength training and yoga.</p> <p><iframe id="cZaWb" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/cZaWb/2/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Antidepressants certainly help <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/article/S0140-6736(17)32802-7/fulltext">some people</a>. And of course, anyone getting treatment for depression should talk to their doctor <a href="https://australia.cochrane.org/news/new-cochrane-review-explores-latest-evidence-approaches-stopping-long-term-antidepressants">before changing</a> what they are doing.</p> <p>Still, our evidence shows that if you have depression, you should get a psychologist <em>and</em> an exercise plan, whether or not you’re taking antidepressants.</p> <h2>Join a program and go hard (with support)</h2> <p>Before we analysed the data, we thought people with depression might need to “ease into it” with generic advice, <a href="https://www.who.int/initiatives/behealthy/physical-activity">such as</a> “some physical activity is better than doing none.”</p> <p>But we found it was far better to have a clear program that aimed to push you, at least a little. Programs with clear structure worked better, compared with those that gave people lots of freedom. Exercising by yourself might also make it hard to set the bar at the right level, given low self-esteem is a symptom of depression.</p> <p>We also found it didn’t matter how much people exercised, in terms of sessions or minutes a week. It also didn’t really matter how long the exercise program lasted. What mattered was the intensity of the exercise: the higher the intensity, the better the results.</p> <h2>Yes, it’s hard to keep motivated</h2> <p>We should exercise caution in interpreting the findings. Unlike drug trials, participants in exercise trials know which “treatment” they’ve been randomised to receive, so this may skew the results.</p> <p>Many people with depression have physical, psychological or social barriers to participating in formal exercise programs. And getting support to exercise isn’t free.</p> <p>We also still don’t know the best way to stay motivated to exercise, which can be even harder if you have depression.</p> <p>Our study tried to find out whether things like setting exercise goals helped, but we couldn’t get a clear result.</p> <p>Other reviews found it’s important to have a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31923898/">clear action plan</a> (for example, putting exercise in your calendar) and to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19916637/">track your progress</a> (for example, using an app or smartwatch). But predicting which of these interventions work is notoriously difficult.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-04128-4">2021 mega-study</a> of more than 60,000 gym-goers <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-04128-4/figures/1">found</a> experts struggled to predict which strategies might get people into the gym more often. Even making workouts fun didn’t seem to motivate people. However, listening to audiobooks while exercising helped a lot, which no experts predicted.</p> <p>Still, we can be confident that people benefit from personalised support and accountability. The support helps overcome the hurdles they’re sure to hit. The accountability keeps people going even when their brains are telling them to avoid it.</p> <p>So, when starting out, it seems wise to avoid going it alone. Instead:</p> <ul> <li> <p>join a fitness group or yoga studio</p> </li> <li> <p>get a trainer or an exercise physiologist</p> </li> <li> <p>ask a friend or family member to go for a walk with you.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Taking a few steps towards getting that support makes it more likely you’ll keep exercising.</p> <h2>Let’s make this official</h2> <p>Some countries see exercise as a backup plan for treating depression. For example, the American Psychological Association only <a href="https://www.apa.org/depression-guideline/">conditionally recommends</a> exercise as a “complementary and alternative treatment” when “psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy is either ineffective or unacceptable”.</p> <p>Based on our research, this recommendation is withholding a potent treatment from many people who need it.</p> <p>In contrast, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists <a href="https://www.ranzcp.org/getmedia/a4678cf4-91f5-4746-99d4-03dc7379ae51/mood-disorders-clinical-practice-guideline-2020.pdf">recommends</a> vigorous aerobic activity at least two to three times a week for all people with depression.</p> <p>Given how common depression is, and the number failing to receive care, other countries should follow suit and recommend exercise alongside front-line treatments for depression.</p> <p><em>I would like to acknowledge my colleagues Taren Sanders, Chris Lonsdale and the rest of the coauthors of the paper on which this article is based.</em></p> <p><em>If this article has raised issues for you, or if you’re concerned about someone you know, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223441/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-noetel-147460">Michael Noetel</a>, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/running-or-yoga-can-help-beat-depression-research-shows-even-if-exercise-is-the-last-thing-you-feel-like-223441">original article</a>.</em></p>

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One last chance for grandma on the brink of deportation

<p>Mary Ellis, 74, who has lived in Australia for the last 40 years and is facing deportation, has made a last-ditch bid to stay Down Under. </p> <p>The grandmother recently appeared on <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/grandma-faces-deportation-after-40-years-in-australia" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>A Current Affair</em></a> and begged the Department of Home Affairs to let her stay in the country. </p> <p>At the time, she refuted the Home Affairs' claim that she had misrepresented her continuous residence in the country, after they alleged that she left Australia three times under an alias between 1983 and 1986, and that her late husband Martin Ellis was actually called Trevor Warren. </p> <p>The crucial qualification for an absorbed citizenship is that she would only be eligible if she was in Australia from April 2, 1984, and had not left the country since. </p> <p>The grandmother claimed that she arrived in Australia in December 1981, and hasn't left since, saying that she had also paid taxes in Australia, held a Medicare card, pension card and an Australian driver's licence.</p> <p>She was also nominated for the NSW Volunteer of the Year award last year, for her charitable acts.</p> <p>The<em> DailyMail</em> reports that there are no "compassionate grounds" on which the Immigration Minister could intervene in her bid to attain an absorbed citizenship. </p> <p>However, under the Migration Act, the minister could decide to intervene in Ellis' case if he thinks "it is in the public interest."</p> <p>Now, Ellis and her migration agent Schneider have requested in writing for the minister to intervene. </p> <p>Requests for Federal Immigration Minister Andrew Giles to intervene must address specific grounds in doing so, and state why her staying would be in the public interest. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram/ Nine</em></p>

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Funding for refugees has long been politicized − punitive action against UNRWA and Palestinians fits that pattern

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nicholas-r-micinski-207353">Nicholas R. Micinski</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-maine-2120">University of Maine</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kelsey-norman-862895">Kelsey Norman</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rice-university-931">Rice University</a></em></p> <p>At least a dozen countries, including the U.S., have <a href="https://news.un.org/en/story/2024/01/1145987">suspended funding to the UNRWA</a>, the United Nations agency responsible for delivering aid to Palestinian refugees.</p> <p>This follows allegations made by Israel that <a href="https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/at-least-12-u-n-agency-employees-involved-in-oct-7-attacks-intelligence-reports-say-a7de8f36">12 UNRWA employees participated</a> in the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attack. The UNRWA responded by <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/un-palestinian-refugee-agency-investigates-staff-suspected-role-israel-attacks-2024-01-26/">dismissing all accused employees</a> and opening an investigation.</p> <p>While the seriousness of the accusations is clear to all, and the U.S. has been keen to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/30/us/politics/aid-gaza-israel.html">downplay the significance</a> of its pause in funding, the action is not in keeping with precedent.</p> <p>Western donors did not, for example, defund other U.N. agencies or peacekeeping operations amid accusations of <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/01/11/un-peacekeeping-has-sexual-abuse-problem">sexual assault</a>, <a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/former-un-general-assembly-president-and-five-others-charged-13-million-bribery-scheme">corruption</a> or <a href="https://www.hrw.org/legacy/summaries/s.bosnia9510.html">complicity in war crimes</a>.</p> <p>In real terms, the funding cuts to the UNRWA will affect <a href="https://www.unrwa.org/where-we-work/gaza-strip">1.7 million Palestinian refugees in Gaza</a> along with an additional 400,000 Palestinians without refugee status, many of whom benefit from the UNRWA’s infrastructure. Some critics have gone further and said depriving the agency of funds <a href="https://jacobin.com/2024/01/unrwa-defunding-gaza-israel">amounts to collective punishment</a> against Palestinians.</p> <p>Refugee aid, and humanitarian aid more generally, is theoretically meant to be neutral and impartial. But as experts in <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/reluctant-reception/558E2A93FF99B8F295347A8FA2053698">migration</a> <a href="https://www.routledge.com/UN-Global-Compacts-Governing-Migrants-and-Refugees/Micinski/p/book/9780367218836">and</a> <a href="https://press.umich.edu/Books/D/Delegating-Responsibility">international relations</a>, we know funding is often used as a foreign policy tool, whereby allies are rewarded and enemies punished. In this context, we believe the cuts in funding for the UNRWA fit a wider pattern of the politicization of aid to refugees, particularly Palestinian refugees.</p> <h2>What is the UNRWA?</h2> <p>The UNRWA, short for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, was established two years after about <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-nakba-at-75-palestinians-struggle-to-get-recognition-for-their-catastrophe-204782">750,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled from their homes</a> during the months leading up to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and the subsequent Arab-Israeli war.</p> <p>Prior to the UNRWA’s creation, international and local organizations, many of them religious, provided services to displaced Palestinians. But after <a href="https://cup.columbia.edu/book/refuge-and-resistance/9780231202855">surveying the extreme poverty</a> and dire situation pervasive across refugee camps, the U.N. General Assembly, including all Arab states and Israel, voted to create the UNRWA in 1949.</p> <p>Since that time, <a href="https://www.unrwa.org/what-we-do">the UNRWA has been the primary aid organization</a> providing food, medical care, schooling and, in some cases, housing for the 6 million Palestinians living across its five fields: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, as well as the areas that make up the occupied Palestinian territories: the West Bank and Gaza Strip.</p> <p>The mass displacement of Palestinians – known as the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-nakba-at-75-palestinians-struggle-to-get-recognition-for-their-catastrophe-204782">Nakba, or “catastrophe</a>” – occurred prior to the <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/about-unhcr/who-we-are/1951-refugee-convention">1951 Refugee Convention</a>, which defined refugees as anyone with a well-founded fear of persecution owing to “events occurring in Europe before 1 January 1951.” Despite a <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/sites/default/files/legacy-pdf/4ec262df9.pdf">1967 protocol extending the definition</a> worldwide, Palestinians are still excluded from the primary international system protecting refugees.</p> <p>While the UNRWA is responsible for providing services to Palestinian refugees, the United Nations also created the U.N. Conciliation Commission for Palestine in 1948 to seek a <a href="https://www.refworld.org/docid/4fe2e5672.html">long-term political solution</a> and “to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation.”</p> <p>As a result, the UNRWA does not have a mandate to push for the traditional durable solutions available in other refugee situations. As it happened, the conciliation commission was active only for a few years and has since been sidelined in favor of the U.S.-brokered peace processes.</p> <h2>Is the UNRWA political?</h2> <p>The UNRWA has been <a href="https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/palestinian-refugees-dispossession">subject</a> to political headwinds since its inception and especially during periods of heightened tension between Palestinians and Israelis.</p> <p>While it is a U.N. organization and thus ostensibly apolitical, it has <a href="https://cup.columbia.edu/book/refuge-and-resistance/9780231202855">frequently been criticized</a> by Palestinians, Israelis as well as donor countries, including the United States, for acting politically.</p> <p>The UNRWA performs statelike functions across its five fields – including education, health and infrastructure – but it is restricted in its mandate from performing political or security activities.</p> <p>Initial Palestinian objections to the UNRWA stemmed from the organization’s early focus on economic integration of refugees into host states.</p> <p>Although the UNRWA officially adhered to the U.N. General Assembly’s <a href="https://www.unrwa.org/content/resolution-194">Resolution 194</a> that called for the return of Palestine refugees to their homes, U.N., U.K. and U.S. <a href="https://cup.columbia.edu/book/refuge-and-resistance/9780231202855">officials searched</a> for means by which to resettle and integrate Palestinians into host states, viewing this as the favorable political solution to the Palestinian refugee situation and the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this sense, Palestinians perceived the UNRWA to be both highly political and actively working against their interests.</p> <p>In later decades, the UNRWA <a href="https://cup.columbia.edu/book/refuge-and-resistance/9780231202855">switched its primary focus</a> from jobs to education at the urging of Palestinian refugees. But the UNRWA’s education materials were <a href="https://cup.columbia.edu/book/refuge-and-resistance/9780231202855">viewed</a> by Israel as further feeding Palestinian militancy, and the Israeli government insisted on checking and approving all materials in Gaza and the West Bank, which it has occupied since 1967.</p> <p>While Israel has <a href="https://cup.columbia.edu/book/refuge-and-resistance/9780231202855">long been suspicious</a> of the UNRWA’s role in refugee camps and in providing education, the organization’s operation, which is internationally funded, <a href="https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/east-mediterranean-mena/israelpalestine/242-unrwas-reckoning-preserving-un-agency-serving-palestinian-refugees">also saves</a> Israel millions of dollars each year in services it would be obliged to deliver as the occupying power.</p> <p>Since the 1960s, the U.S. – UNRWA’s primary donor – and other Western countries have <a href="https://cup.columbia.edu/book/refuge-and-resistance/9780231202855">repeatedly expressed their desire</a> to use aid to prevent radicalization among refugees.</p> <p>In response to the increased presence of armed opposition groups, the <a href="https://cup.columbia.edu/book/refuge-and-resistance/9780231202855">U.S. attached a provision</a> to its UNRWA aid in 1970, requiring that the “UNRWA take all possible measures to assure that no part of the United States contribution shall be used to furnish assistance to any refugee who is receiving military training as a member of the so-called Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) or any other guerrilla-type organization.”</p> <p>The UNRWA adheres to this requirement, even publishing an annual list of its employees so that host governments can vet them, but it also <a href="https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/east-mediterranean-mena/israelpalestine/242-unrwas-reckoning-preserving-un-agency-serving-palestinian-refugees">employs 30,000 individuals</a>, the vast majority of whom are Palestinian.</p> <p>Questions over the links of the UNRWA to any militancy has led to the rise of Israeli and international <a href="https://cufi.org/issue/unrwa-teachers-continue-to-support-antisemitism-terrorism-on-social-media-un-watch/">watch groups</a> that document the social media activity of the organization’s large Palestinian staff.</p> <h2>Repeated cuts in funding</h2> <p>The United States has used its money and power within the U.N. to block criticism of Israel, vetoing at least <a href="https://www.un.org/depts/dhl/resguide/scact_veto_table_en.htm">45 U.N. resolutions</a> critical of Israel.</p> <p>And the latest freeze is not the first time the U.S. has cut funding to the UNRWA or other U.N. agencies in response to issues pertaining to the status of Palestinians.</p> <p>In 2011, the <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE79U5ED/#:%7E:text=WASHINGTON%20(Reuters)%20%2D%20The%20United,grant%20the%20Palestinians%20full%20membership.">U.S. cut all funding to UNESCO</a>, the U.N. agency that provides educational and cultural programs around the world, after the agency voted to admit the state of Palestine as a full member.</p> <p>The Obama administration defended the move, claiming it was required by a 1990s law to defund any U.N. body that admitted Palestine as a full member.</p> <p>But the impact of the action was nonetheless severe. Within just four years, UNESCO was <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1758-5899.12459">forced to cut its staff in half</a> and roll back its operations. President Donald Trump later <a href="https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/u-s-and-israel-officially-withdraw-from-unesco">withdrew the U.S. completely from UNESCO</a>.</p> <p>In 2018, the Trump administration paused its <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/31/us/politics/trump-unrwa-palestinians.html">US$60 million contribution to the UNRWA</a>. Trump claimed the pause would create political pressure for Palestinians to negotiate. President Joe Biden restarted U.S. contributions to the UNRWA in 2021.</p> <h2>Politicization of refugee aid</h2> <p>Palestinian are not the only group to suffer from the politicization of refugee funding.</p> <p>After World War II, states established different international organizations to help refugees but strategically excluded some groups from the refugee definition. For example, the U.S. funded the <a href="https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/last-million-eastern-european-displaced-persons-postwar-germany">U.N. Relief and Rehabilitation Administration to help resettle displaced persons after World War II</a> but resisted Soviet pressure to forcibly repatriate Soviet citizens.</p> <p>The U.S. also created a separate organization, <a href="https://academic.oup.com/ijrl/article-abstract/1/4/501/1598187">the precursor to the International Organization for Migration</a>, to circumvent Soviet influence. In many ways, the UNRWA’s existence and the exclusion of Palestinian refugees from the wider refugee regime parallels this dynamic.</p> <p>Funding for refugees has also been politicized through the earmarking of voluntary contributions to U.N. agencies. Some agencies receive funding from U.N. dues; but the UNRWA, alongside the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration, receive the majority of their funding from voluntary contributions from member states.</p> <p>These contributions can be earmarked for specific activities or locations, leading to donors such as the <a href="https://www.peio.me/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/PEIO12_paper_107.pdf">U.S. or European Union dictating which refugees get aid and which do not</a>. Earmarked contributions amounted to nearly <a href="https://unsceb.org/fs-revenue-agency">96% of the UNHCR’s budget, 96% of the IOM’s budget and 74% of UNRWA funding in 2022</a>.</p> <p>As a result, any cuts to UNRWA funding will affect its ability to service Palestinian refugees in Gaza – especially at a time when so many are <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/30/middleeast/famine-looms-in-gaza-israel-war-intl/index.html">facing hunger, disease and displacement</a> as a result of war.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/222263/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nicholas-r-micinski-207353"><em>Nicholas R. Micinski</em></a><em>, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-maine-2120">University of Maine</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kelsey-norman-862895">Kelsey Norman</a>, Fellow for the Middle East, Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rice-university-931">Rice University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/funding-for-refugees-has-long-been-politicized-punitive-action-against-unrwa-and-palestinians-fits-that-pattern-222263">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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How long does immunity last after a COVID infection?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lara-herrero-1166059">Lara Herrero</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dr-wesley-freppel-1408971">Dr Wesley Freppel</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p>Nearly four years into the pandemic, Australia, like many other countries, is still seeing large numbers of <a href="https://nindss.health.gov.au/pbi-dashboard/">COVID cases</a>. Some 860,221 infections were recorded around the country in 2023, while 30,283 cases have already been reported in 2024.</p> <p>This is likely to be a significant underestimate, with fewer people testing and reporting than earlier in the pandemic. But the signs suggest parts of Australia are experiencing yet <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-01-23/covid-19-case-numbers-from-australia-states-and-territories/103374656">another COVID surge</a>.</p> <p>While some lucky people claim to have never had COVID, many are facing our second, third or even fourth infection, often despite having been vaccinated. You might be wondering, how long does immunity last after a previous infection or vaccination?</p> <p>Let’s take a look at what the evidence shows.</p> <h2>B cells and T cells</h2> <p>To answer this question, we need to understand a bit about how <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-happens-in-our-body-when-we-encounter-and-fight-off-a-virus-like-the-flu-sars-cov-2-or-rsv-207023">immunity</a> to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID) works.</p> <p>After being infected or vaccinated, the immune system develops specific antibodies that can neutralise SARS-CoV-2. B cells remember the virus for a period of time. In addition, the immune system produces memory T cells that can kill the virus, and remain in the blood for some months after the clearance of the infection or a vaccination.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.abf4063?rfr_dat=cr_pub++0pubmed&amp;url_ver=Z39.88-2003&amp;rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org">2021 study</a> found 98% of people had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein (a protein on the surface of the virus that allows it to attach to our cells) one month after symptom onset. Six to eight months afterwards, 90% of participants still had these neutralising antibodies in their blood.</p> <p>This means the immune system should have recognised and neutralised the same SARS-CoV-2 variant if challenged within six to eight months (if an infection occurred, it should have resulted in mild to no symptoms).</p> <h2>But what about when the virus mutates?</h2> <p>As we know, SARS-CoV-2 has mutated over time, leading to the emergence of new variants such as alpha, beta, delta and omicron. Each of these variants carries mutations that are new to the immune system, even if the person has been previously infected with an earlier variant.</p> <p>A new variant likely won’t be <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adj0070">perfectly recognised</a> – or even <a href="https://www.cell.com/cell/pdf/S0092-8674(21)01578-6.pdf">recognised at all</a> – by the already activated memory T or B cells from a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. This could explain why people can be so readily reinfected with COVID.</p> <p>A recent <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/article/S0140-6736(22)02465-5/fulltext#seccestitle10">review of studies</a> published up to the end of September 2022 looked at the protection conferred by previous SARS-CoV-2 infections.</p> <p>The authors found a previous infection provided protective immunity against reinfection with the ancestral, alpha, beta and delta variants of 85.2% at four weeks. Protection against reinfection with these variants remained high (78.6%) at 40 weeks, or just over nine months, after the previous infection. This protection decreased to 55.5% at 80 weeks (18 months), but the authors noted there was a lack of data at this time point.</p> <p>Notably, an earlier infection provided only 36.1% protection against a reinfection with omicron BA.1 at 40 weeks. Omicron has been described as an <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-022-01143-7">immune escape variant</a>.</p> <p>A prior infection showed a high level of protection against severe disease (above 88%) up to 40 weeks regardless of the variant a person was reinfected with.</p> <h2>What about immunity after vaccination?</h2> <p>So far almost 70 million COVID vaccines <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/covid-19/reporting">have been administered</a> to more than <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccine-rollout-update-12-january-2023?language=en">22 million people</a> in Australia. Scientists estimated COVID vaccines prevented around <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(22)00320-6/fulltext">14.4 million deaths</a> in 185 countries in the first year after they became available.</p> <p>But we know COVID vaccine effectiveness wanes over time. A <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2804451?utm_source=For_The_Media&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=ftm_links&amp;utm_term=050323">2023 review</a> found the original vaccines were 79.6% and 49.7% effective at protecting against symptomatic delta infection at one and nine months after vaccination respectively. They were 60.4% and 13.3% effective against symptomatic omicron at the same time points.</p> <p>This is where booster doses come into the picture. They’re important to keep the immune system ready to fight off the virus, particularly for those who are more vulnerable to the effects of a COVID infection.</p> <p>Plus, regular booster doses can provide immunity against different variants. COVID vaccines are constantly being <a href="https://mvec.mcri.edu.au/references/covid-19/">reviewed and updated</a> to ensure optimal protection against <a href="https://www.who.int/activities/tracking-SARS-CoV-2-variants">current circulating strains</a>, with the latest shot available designed to target <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-mark-butler-mp/media/new-covid-19-vaccines-available-to-target-current-variants">the omicron variant XBB 1.5</a>. This is similar to how we approach seasonal flu vaccines.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-50335-6">recent study</a> showed a COVID vaccination provides longer protection against reinfection than natural protection alone. The median time from infection to reinfection in non-vaccinated people was only six months, compared with 14 months in people who had received one, two or three doses of vaccine after their first infection. This is called <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abj2258">hybrid immunity</a>, and other research has similarly found it provides better protection than natural infection alone.</p> <p>It also seems timing is important, as receiving a vaccine too soon after an infection (less than six months) appears to be <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-50335-6">less effective</a> than getting vaccinated later.</p> <h2>What now?</h2> <p>Everyone’s immune system is slightly unique, and SARS-CoV-2 continues to mutate, so knowing exactly how long COVID immunity lasts is complicated.</p> <p>Evidence suggests immunity following infection should generally last six months in healthy adults, and can be prolonged with vaccination. But there are exceptions, and all of this assumes the virus has not mutated so much that it “escapes” our immune response.</p> <p>While many people feel the COVID pandemic is over, it’s important we don’t forget the lessons we have learned. Practices such as wearing a mask and staying home when unwell can reduce the spread of many viruses, not only <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj-2021-068302">COVID</a>.</p> <p>Vaccination is not mandatory, but for older adults eligible for a booster under the <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/news/atagi-update-on-the-covid-19-vaccination-program">current guidelines</a>, it’s a very good idea.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221398/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lara-herrero-1166059"><em>Lara Herrero</em></a><em>, Research Leader in Virology and Infectious Disease, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dr-wesley-freppel-1408971">Dr Wesley Freppel</a>, Research Fellow, Institute for Glycomics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-long-does-immunity-last-after-a-covid-infection-221398">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Jimmy Barnes shares updates on "long road ahead"

<p>Jimmy Barnes has shared another update about his recovery from open-heart surgery, saying that there is "a long road ahead" following his latest check-up. </p> <p>The 67-year-old was admitted into hospital for <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/bad-news-jimmy-barnes-rushed-into-emergency-open-heart-surgery" target="_blank" rel="noopener">emergency heart surgery</a> after complications from a bacterial infection just weeks before Christmas. </p> <p>Since then, Barnes and his wife Jane have been keeping fans updated on his recovery progress. </p> <p>“Always good to leave the hospital smiling. There’s still a long road ahead and many more check ups,” the Aussie Rocker shared to his Instagram followers on Thursday. </p> <p>“There was a team of seven specialists working on me, so there is a lot to follow up on.”</p> <p>The <em>Flame Trees </em>singer shared that he'd had enough of intravenous medications and couldn't wait to have his peripherally inserted central catheter removed. </p> <p>“Another set of good bloods and it’s off with the ‘PICC Line’,” he wrote. </p> <p>“I’m sure it’s saved my life but I cannot wait to be free.”</p> <p>Despite everything, Barnes still looks on the bright side, and showed his gratitude for his wife Jane and her excellent cooking skills. </p> <p>“Thai beef curry is just what the doctor ordered,” he concluded the post, with a picture of Jane's homemade dish.</p> <p>Fans took to the comments to share their support. </p> <p>“Great stuff! As Rocky would say ‘It’s not how hard you hit, but how hard you get hit and keep getting up again’, wrote one fan. </p> <p>“You can do it Jimmy,” another commented. </p> <p>“That’s great news Jimmy. You are in the best hands both on a medical and personal level," a third added. </p> <p>“Great news and good to see you’re recovering well, nurse Jane is doing a fantastic job with all your meals,” wrote a fourth. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

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"That is NOT a goanna": Family stumbles upon metre-long croc in their chicken coop

<p>A Central Queensland family got the croc-shock of their lives when what they thought was a seemingly innocent goanna having a nap in their chicken coop turned out to be a rather laid-back, metre-long reptile houseguest.</p> <p>The unsuspecting family from <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Cape Hillsborough </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">stumbled upon the scaly interloper during their morning routine and, u</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">pon closer inspection, they realised that their "goanna" was actually a pint-sized crocodile with a hunger for adventure and perhaps a penchant for farm-fresh eggs. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">They immediately called upon the services of the wildlife officers from the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI) to handle the unexpected guest. </span></p> <p>DESI staff, armed with their best PVC tube, swooped in to relocate the confused crocodile to a more suitable venue – a facility in Mackay. There, the croc will wait patiently until wildlife officers can find it a new home, possibly at a licensed farm or zoo where it can continue its culinary escapades under professional supervision.</p> <p>Senior Wildlife Officer Jane Burns commented on the incident, saying, "While it isn't unusual to see crocs around Mackay, it is unusual to find one in someone's backyard." Well, Jane, they say every family has a skeleton in the closet, but in Mackay, it seems they might have a croc in the coop.</p> <p>This peculiar episode follows hot on the heels of recent reports of a crocodile deciding to test its high jump skills, attempting to land in a fisherman's tinnie at Jane Creek in nearby St Helen's Beach. Witnesses say the crocodile executed a perfect swan dive, narrowly avoiding a career in aquatic acrobatics.</p> <p>As the good people of Mackay navigate this unexpected croc invasion, wildlife authorities are reminding everyone to be "<a href="https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/plants-animals/animals/living-with/crocodiles/becrocwise" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Crocwise in Croc Country</a>". Tips include expecting crocs in all waterways (yes, even in your neighbour's kiddie pool), obeying warning signs (they're not just fancy decorations), and refraining from using canoes and kayaks (apparently, crocs have a thing for watercraft).</p> <p>So, the next time you suspect a goanna is admiring your chicken coop, remember – it might just be a crocodile in disguise, ready for a culinary adventure and a chance at stardom. </p> <p><em>Images: DISA</em></p>

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